We cut through the clutter to tell you some of the most important stories of the day.
Schools Should Be Ready
The Ministry of Education says it expects a smooth start to the school year that begins Monday, September 2. Acting Minister of Education Karl Samuda says the Government has made several moves to support the education system, ahead of the start of the school year.
At a press conference Thursday, August 29, Mr. Samuda said the Government had provided some $11 Billion in resources including student grants, maintenance funds and support for students. Direct support has also been provided for students under the PATH Programme and as transport subsidy for rural area children as well as book vouchers for the neediest of students to purchase school supplies.
We Look Better
The new Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Richard Byles says Jamaica is in a better place than it was in 2009 to withstand a world recession should there be one. The BOJ Governor was speaking at his first Quarterly press briefing Thursday, August 29, following his taking up of the job earlier this month. There has been local concern about how the economy will fare should there be a recession in the US or other leading economies in the world. Analysts have pointed to the 2008/2009 recession that had significant negative effects on Jamaica. Mr Byles said “our debt is lower than it was then… and our reserves are higher.” He also referred to the current account (to GDP ratio) and concluded that Jamaica is much better positioned now” than it was at the time of the last recession.
There was concern late Thursday about a strike by some workers at the National Water Commission (NWC). The strike by some workers at the water supplier increased concerns about the ability of the company to deliver supplies to the public, especially in the Corporate Area, already distressed by broken mains and on and off supplies. The NWC announced Thursday afternoon that its Commercial Offices at Cross Road had been closed by the strike. The Ministry of Labour was working on meeting with the National Workers Union representing the workers, and the NWC to seek to get the workers back on the job.
Lingering At Edna Manley
The Ministry of Education says the Board of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts is to meet with staff Friday, August 30, over the developing situation there. It all goes back to claims months ago that students had been sexually harassed by a lecturer. The college has investigated the claims but not found evidence to support the sexual harassment claims. However, it asked the principal to go on leave over the handling of the situation. The principal reportedly refused and has been sent on leave while investigations continue. Some staff members say the Board has not been communicating with them and must do that now.
Nice Bags And Shoes
Police are investigating how some $50 million dollars of counterfeit brand name goods ended up on the shelves and inventory of two stores downtown Kingston. The police said they seized the goods, mainly handbags and shoes, Wednesday, from two stores and are expected to charge the operators under Consumer legislation. They did not name the stores.